Rogue Climber Summits Everest from South

Hops Khumbu Icefall in heli

OutsideOnline first Everest summit reported since avalanche April 18 mid-April Jing Wang Nepal South-side expedition Alan Arnette Himalayan Times helicopter Sherpas rope Hillary Step flight fly 20 decent Base Camp Camp 2 Khumbu Icefall Chinese climber ascent reached peak 7 Summits both poles record

Helicopter en route to Everest.     Photo: Rick McCharles/Flickr

According to reports, on Friday, May 23, 40-year-old Jing Wang, owner of the Chinese gear company Toread, reached Everest's summit, along with five Sherpas, at 6:20 p.m. Wang and her teammates weren't the the first, or only, people to top out on Everest this year; as many as 51 climbers have summitted from the north side. But her ascent is the first via Nepal since an avalanche killed 16 Sherpas in mid-April. Following the accident, most expeditions packed up and left the mountain.

On a quest to tag the Seven Summits, plus both poles, in record time, Wang was originally climbing with Himalayan Experience (Himex) but was forced to obtain another permit when Himex abandoned its 2014 Everest expedition. When Wang was unable to obtain a permit from the Chinese to climb via the north side, she later managed to secure one with Excursion Himalaya.

To avoid the obvious hazards of the Khumbu Icefall, Wang recruited five climbing Sherpa and two cooks to fly over the danger zone and into Camp 2. The team is rumored to have commissioned some 20 flights to transport gear and people—at a cost of at least $2,000 per person each way, according to Alan Arnette's blog.

Sherpas fixed ropes at the Hillary Step for her summit, just a portion of the 25,000-plus feet of rope she apparently purchased before her expedition, said an official at Base Camp.

Wang may have arrived at Camp 2 Saturday, but nothing has been reported since the Nepalese government confirmed she reached the summit Friday evening. Joint Secretary Madhusudan Burlakoti said the government has not reached a decision on whether to recognize Wang's ascent by helicopter.

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